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The Market Shoppers Guide to Handmade Jewellery

October 09, 2018

When you’re buying handmade jewellery, what do you look for when it comes to authenticity? Mass-produced accessories are everywhere. It’s useful to know the difference between a machine-made item and a genuine, ethically made handicraft before you hit the markets or buy handmade jewellery online.

Buying handmade jewellery in street markets

When you walk into a street market, how do you tell the difference between a cheap factory-produced souvenir and a genuine piece of handmade jewellery? Avoid gifting a loved one with a cheap item that may not have been ethically handcrafted. There are a few ways to tell if your chosen piece of jewellery is mass-produced:

  • Handmade jewellery is typically not identical to another piece. If an accessory is factory-made you are likely to see the same piece sold at every other stall.
  • The materials of authentic, ethically produced handmade jewellery pieces are usually stronger and of a higher quality than mass-produced wares.
  • Some street vendors may themselves be crafting the wares they sell. In this instance, it is easy to see exactly who makes your chosen handicraft and how it is made – particularly if they are crafting as they are selling! That said, this situation is quite rare.

The best way to source ethically made handmade jewellery – buy online

In many ways, buying genuine handmade jewellery online is easier. Why? Because in most instances, you know the back story behind the brand. Handicrafts sold on sites like  have been vetted for authenticity. Brands are chosen for their aesthetically beautiful wares but also for empowering local communities through social enterprise. Here are some examples of ethically produced handmade jewellery sold via Temples and Markets:

The Ammo workshop in Siem Reap

Contemporary jewellery by AMMO

The Ammo workshop in Siem Reap employs young and disadvantaged Cambodians to craft unique handmade jewellery using recycled brass bullets and silver.

Future Traditions Handmade Jewellery

Handmade jewellery by Future Traditions

Future Traditions work directly with local communities to collect ceramic fragments gathered from the beaches stretching along Vietnam’s coastline, which are then crafted into beautiful pieces of handmade jewellery.

Resin accessories by Zsiska

Resin accessories by Zsiska

Handmade resin jewellery pieces made by the Zsiska team in Thailand take inspiration from the diversity of cultures, art and nature. The brand is known for its colourful collection, each piece meticulously crafted in a small town just a few hours away from Bangkok.

Looking for beautiful, ethically handmade jewellery? Shop Temples and Markets emerging designer and artisan range here.


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